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Saakashvili: Ukraine deports ex-Georgia president to Poland

Saakashvili: Ukraine deports ex-Georgia president to Poland
From BBC - February 12, 2018

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been deported to Poland, Ukraine's border service says.

It says the 50-year-old was in Ukraine illegally and therefore "was returned to the country from where he arrived".

But his lawyer said the deportation was a "kidnapping".

Mr Saakashvili was made a Ukrainian citizen in 2015, automatically losing his Georgian passport. He was stripped of his citizenship last July and officials now consider him stateless.

His Ukrainian citizenship was removed by his former ally, President Petro Poroshenko, after the two politicians fell out.

Mr Saakashvili is also wanted in Georgia on criminal charges, which he claims are politically motivated.

Last September, he crossed into Ukraine from Poland, helped by his supporters.

What does Ukraine's border service say?

In a statement (in Ukrainian), it says Ukraine's immigration officials and police on Monday informed Mr Saakashvili about a court decision to return him to Poland.

However, it says, unidentified supporters of Mr Saakashvili attacked the officials, who were forced "to defend themselves and use force".

Mr Saakashvili was then - "in compliance with all legal procedures" - returned to Poland, the border service says.

Poland's border service confirmed that Mr Saakashvili was now on Polish soil.

Earlier on Monday, Mr Saakashvili's supporters posted a video which they said showed how unidentified men in camouflage were detaining the former Georgian president in a Kiev restaurant.

What's the background to Mr Saakashvili's case?

Is this a political case?

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